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Armed Forces told to ignore rank in bid to prevent suicides

Armed Forces told to ignore rank in bid to prevent suicides

Soldiers must report their superiors if they think they are a suicide risk, the first ever suicide prevention booklet given to the armed forces says.

The new pocket guide to help armed forces personnel spot and support those who may be struggling with their mental health will be launched on September 4th.

The guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties and considering suicide. It suggests ways of offering support and gives information on where help can be found.

All military personnel and reserves, some 200,000 people, will have access to either a hard copy or digital version of the booklet.

A loss of personal discipline, drinking alone and appearing “not quite there” are all warning signs, the guide says. Using negative statements such as ‘it’s like everything is against me’ could be an indication the individual is struggling.

‘Being in the armed forces means you are exposed to a higher degree of risk and pressure than you might expect in other jobs,’ the booklet states. The guide champions ‘looking after your mates’ and is specifically designed to promote peer support amongst those serving, regardless of rank.

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